OPPO F1 Plus – Selfie Expert Review

The OPPO F1 Plus is a mid range smartphone with tons of high end features including a pretty impressive 16MP Selfie camera. Sporting a 5.5 inch Full HD display a sturdy 6.6mm full metal frame with 4GB of RAM 64GB of internal storage and high end perks like VOOC fast charge and a fingerprint reader. Oh! And did I mention it has a mid range price-tag?
Positives
  • Great Build Quality
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 64 GB of storage
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Great rear facing camera
  • Amazing selfie camera
  • VOOC fast charging
  • Great battery life
Negatives
  • Not the latest version of Android
  • Weak in search capability considering there is no app drawer
  • Unoriginal design
  • No NFC

Design

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Whenever I put the OPPO F1 Plus down on a table for dinner most people thought I was using an iPhone, to the point where a few people mentioned that they thought I was an Android girl. I don’t have a problem with the copy cat looks because when you hold it you immediately know it’s so much more. Speaking strictly aesthetics some will hate it, other will love it and many people won’t care one way or another.

The one thing that everyone will agree upon is that in hand it feels of higher build quality than what Apple is bringing to the table. Feeling more substantial and solid in hand it makes you wonder how they’ve managed to one up the feeling of luxury on one of the industry’s top handsets.

Putting aside the lack of original design language, the OPPO F1 Plus is feels pleasing to hold and comfortable in hand. On the front you get a 5.5-inch display protected by Gorilla Glass 4 along with a physical home button that incorporates a fingerprint reader. Going around the rest of the phone, the volume rocker is on the left, while the dual-SIM tray and power button is on the right. The bottom hosts the 3.5mm headphone jack and Micro USD connector. On the back is the rear facing camera along with its flash LED, plus the OPPO logo. There are two bands that run across the back, near the top and bottom, that give the OPPO F1 Plus a certain iPhone-esque look.

The device is available in two colors: Gold and Rose Gold. My review unit is the Rose Gold (some might say Pink) version.

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Hardware

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Display
Size 5.5 inches
Type AMOLED
Resolution Full HD (1920 by 1080 pixels)
Touchscreen Multi-touch, Capacitive Screen, Gorilla Glass 4
Support for Gloved and Wet Touch Input

Processor MediaTek MT6755 Octa-core
GPU Mali T860
RAM 4GB
Storage 64GB (Expandable up to 128GB)
Battery Typical Capacity: 2850 mAh (Non-removable)
Operating System ColorOS 3.0, based on Android 5.1

Camera
Main Sensor 13-megapixel
Front Sensor 16-megapixel
Flash LED Flash and Soft Light
Aperture Rear: f/2.2 Sec: f/2.0
Other Features 720p/ 1080p videos

Connectivity
Frequencies International Version 1:
GSM: 850/900/1800/1900MHz
WCDMA: 850/900/1900/2100MHz
FDD-LTE: Band 1/3/5/7/8/20
TD-LTE: Bands 38/39/40/41

International Version 2:
GSM: 850/900/1800/1900MHz
WCDMA: 850/900/1900/2100MHz
FDD-LTE: Band 1/3/5/7/8/
TD-LTE: Bands 38/40/41

International Version 3:
GSM: 850/900/1800/1900MHz
WCDMA: 850/900/1900/2100MHz
FDD-LTE: Band 1/3/5/7/8/
TD-LTE: Bands 38/39/40/41
SIM Card Type Dual Nano-SIM Cards
GPS Supported
Bluetooth 4.0
Wi-Fi 2.4/5GHz 802.11 a/b/g/n
OTG Supported
NFC No

Sensors
Distance sensor
Light sensor
G-sensor
E-compass

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In The Box
OPPO F1 Plus
In-ear type earphones
Micro USB cable
VOOC Flash Charger mini
SIM ejector tool
Documentation
Case

Imagine if an iPhone had catered to Android geeks, a dual-SIM slot which can double as a memory card slot. It may not even be necessary to use a memory card because the phone has a fantastic 64GB of storage. Samsung and Apple would probably still offer you 16GB at this price.

Thinking OPPO might have just stuffed the F1 Plus with the cheapest memory it could find, think again, it reads at 168MB/s and writes at 133MB/s. If you don’t know what this means, it’s fast and comparable with top-end phones. To give you an idea cheap phones’ storage can be ten times slower which can really be a pain when you’re transferring files over or even saving photos.

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There is a lot to love about OPPO F1 Plus the fingerprint scanner on the home button works great. You need to actually click the button to unlock the phone from sleep, but it’s virtually instant in doing so.

Unlike its smaller, cheaper brother the OPPO F1, the F1 Plus has tiny light-up soft keys too. Their design is spot-on: they are invisible when not lit-up, subtle when they are.

Even if you do call it an iPhone 6S Plus rip-off, you’d have to admit it’s a really, really nice one.

Display

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the Oppo F1 Plus has a 5.5in 1920 x 1080 AMOLED screen. And it’s mostly lovely to look at: I could watch films and play games on this thing all-day-long. Well, on a long flight at least.

One obvious benefit of using an AMOLED screen rather than an LCD one is that it still looks amazing in dark rooms, where LCDs can end up looking a little greyed-out. If you use your phone in bed, in the dark, the F1 Plus even has an Eye Protection mode. This is similar to Night Shift in iOS (itself far from the first to do this), cutting out a lot of the blue light wavelengths that can disrupt your sleepy-bye-byes pattern. It’s not automatic (which we’re happy about), but can be accessed from the drop-down menu quick enough. Loads of people are going to ignore the feature altogether, but I like the manual approach as Eye Protection does make the Oppo F1 Plus screen look a bit orangey. If you use FLUX on your laptop you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about, if not it tints the screen orange by about 20%.

Performance

I find general performance to be on-par with the more expensive phones, even though the OPPO F1 Plus has a deceptively humble CPU: it uses the MediaTek P10, not a processor we see around much.

While the P10’s eight cores make it sound like a beast, the fact remains that they’re all lower-power Cortex-A53 cores. Really, it’s a mid-range processor rather than a true high-end one, comparable with the Snapdragon 616 used in the OPPO F1. What we should keep in mind is that the performance we’re seeing here is basically on par with last years flagship devices.

Accordingly, its Geekbench 3 score of 3345 is the least you’d expect for this sort of cash in 2015 – but then again, does it matter? The phone feels fast and, perhaps most important, the Mali T860 CPU has the chops to let you max-out graphics in games without any major knock-on effects in frame rate.

3D Mark’s Unlimited test proves it: the F1 scores 8992, the F1 Plus 11079. I’d call this sort of spec ‘enough for 1080p’, especially when it’s matched with fast storage and a massive 4GB RAM. It runs high end graphics games like Asphalt 8 no problem.

For AnTuTu the F1 Plus scored 51158 and for Epic Citadel the device manages 42.4 frames per second in Ultra High Quality mode, and 59.4 fps in High Quality mode. So, while the octa-core Cortex-A53 CPU scores are towards the low end, it seems that MediaTek have made the right choice when it comes to the GPU.

Of course, this isn’t a highend processor which makes sense because it doesn’t have a high end pricetag.

Camera – Front Facing Never Looked So Good

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The rear camera on the F1 Plus has a 13MP sensor along with a f/2.2 lens and auto-focus. Overall I have been very impressed by the camera. I have used it for closeups, selfies, and casual snaps, both indoors and outdoors and the camera really hasn’t delivered an unusable or bad photo. At times the exposure runs a little hot but it’s easy enough to adjust by simply tapping to focus and swiping up or down to adjust. Of course if you push the lightning scenario to extremes you will get lots of noise in the photos.

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In terms of the camera app, you get a simple camera interface by default, however you can swipe your way into different shooting modes, including time lapse, video, beauty and panorama. You can also tap on an icon to reveal functions like ultra HD, filters, GIF animation, double exposure, and expert mode. The latter allows you to control the ISO, shutter speed and white balance. However it also lets you configure the camera to save a RAW version of every shot taken, in .DNG (Digital Negative) format, plus you can manually focus your shots.

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The real eye-opener of the Oppo F1 Plus is that its front camera is higher-resolution than the rear one. Yes, really: round the front it has a 16-megapixel sensor, the highest-resolution selfie-cam I’ve seen in a phone. In good light it’ll bring out every little follicle with unforgiving clarity and make you look more tired than you’ve ever looked on your way to work. Which is why it’s good news that it comes with a natural (or aggressive) Beauty mode. Beautify 4.0 smooths out those wrinkles and covers up blemishes and gets rid of dark circles under your eyes. There even has a new selfie panorama mode, which is designed for group shots but we’ve seen this in other phones and know that it’s never as clear as you’d like and things haven’t changed much here. It’s pretty simple, you move the phone the shot will have movement and always have elements that aren’t in focus.

Like most front facing cameras it’s got fixed focus and since it’s got increased megapixels on the front facing camera, OPPO is marketing the F1 Plus as the “Selfie Expert.” But we’re more than aware that more pixels doesn’t mean a better photo, but where things have gotten interesting is OPPO’s Hi-Light technology which according to OPPO is “four times more sensitive, with twice the dynamic range and is able to captures shots with four times less noise.” There is also a quite cool feature that we’ve seen pop up on a few different smartphone which is a front facing flash which works by making the display bright white.  It works pretty well, it’s noisy but the photo goes from unusable to totally Instagram worthy (a few filters will drama up that bar shot with ease).

Selfie (8)
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When it comes to low light you do find noise in the photos, but it handles it better than your average mid range smartphone. What you need to keep in mind is that low light is where most midrange smartphones show their price tag and the F1 Plus does an acceptable job.

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point, shoot, drink.

Software – No App Drawer!

Color OS is fast and smooth and will take some getting use to if you’re the kind of person that likes having an app drawer. The OPPO F1 is running version 2.1.0i on top of Android 5.1 so we are disappointed that it’s not running Marshmallow, but ColorOS is it’s own iteration of Android so much of the UI design that you’d find in Android 6.0 would have been covered up.

ColorOS does come packed with a lot of cool features, it’s the same build that’s running on the OPPO R7s which has been optimized with a more responsive user interface compared to previous builds. OPPO has also removed a handful of features in order to optimize the RAM and get rid of resource hungry functions. Some of the features that have been dropped are a bunch of icons and widgets on the lock screen, weather function in the launcher and dial tones. By removing them ColorOS 2.1 is lighter, faster, more stable and less power hungry.

ColorOS gives you a ton of gesture support, which once you’ve gotten used to it, it feels notably absent. Double tap to wake and sleep, custom gestures to launch apps ie an O to launch the Camara app or V for the flashlight. The UI itself is also quite slick with lots of animations, transitions and styling options. The theme store let’s you download different versions, though we have to admit that most of them feel little cartoony.

The Smart Lock Screen is also new with this update, you can be enabled it in Settings > Safety & Privacy.

The one issue that I do have with ColorOS is the lack of strong search features for apps, no app drawer means you have to organize your apps into folders and finding a single app can sometimes be difficult. The way that I’ve gotten around it is by having one folder with all of my apps in it, however, if you download a new app, don’t forget to add it to the folder!

Like many custom Android experiences ColorOS is big on customized permissions and notification management. When starting new apps you can generally allow or deny certain granular permissions per app. This level of permissions is way higher than what you’d get just using vanilla Android 5.1.1.  And this is probably the biggest problem with the software, is that it isn’t running the latest version of Android.  Though to be honest their Android skin is so extensive it’s doubtful much would shine through, regardless I am excited to see the next iteration of Color OS on Android M.

Sound

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The F1 Plus features a single speaker on the bottom edge, next to the micro USB port. The speaker is quite loud and the sound is reasonable considering it isn’t a front facing speaker. As with many devices, music can sound a bit thin with a lack of bass.

Battery Life

The F1 Plus has a 2850 mAh battery, which is amazing when you consider how thin OPPO has made this device. Although it has a 5.5 inch 1080p display, the processor is quite conservative in its power usage, the result is that you will get all-day battery life, easily.
In fact on a 3 day trip to Shenzhen I forgot my MicroUSB cable and got through 2 days 3 hours of day 2 were at a press event using the camera and social media aggressively AND I was running a VPN which adds to the work load.

The battery saver is set to come on at 20% and it does use some pretty aggressive techniques to get to this level of stamina. For starters it’s intensely strict about managing backgrounds activities, being slower to pick up on notifications a lot of the time and can turn off streaming apps unless you mark them as safe. I like that this option was presented to me when I ran the

One thing you may see people complain about a bit more is the Oppo F1 Plus’ microUSB charging socket, given that 2016 is meant to be the year we all shift over to USB-C. It’s not worth getting too upset over, though, as it means you can also use your old phone charger cables.

When it comes to battery charging, the F1 Plus supports OPPO’s trademark VOOC fast charging technology. According to my tests you can charge the F1 Plus from 0 to 75% in just 35 minutes, which is very impressive. More impressive is the overall charge time which takes just 1 hour and 9 minutes (from 0% to 100%).

The OPPO F1 Plus is available in Europe for 389 Euros.

 

Rating
Design / 7.5
Camera / 8
Sound / 8
Performance / 8
Battery Life / 9
Software / 7.5
Price / 9
Editor's Choice / 8.5
Hardware / 8
Display / 8
OPPO F1 Plus - Selfie Expert

The OPPO F1 Plus is a great smartphone that has happily made it into my bag, the build quality, stand up camera and aggressive battery life make it an easy choice.

8.2
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